The idea of ordering a cup of coffee, but paying for two in order to suspend a cup for a stranger who can’t afford it seems to sit well with people–as it should. It’s a nice thought. It makes people happy.
But when I talk to people about suspending a cup of ‘ecology’ it doesn’t seem to flow as well. Thinking about how to live, act, and conduct business sustainably is tough. Living, acting, and conducting business sustainably is even harder. Skimming through New Belgium Brewery’s life-cycle analysis of its Fat Tire amber ale will give you an idea of the deep ecology that we’re aiming for.
Suspended Brewing Company isn’t just selling beer and coffee. We’re selling coffee and beer with a set of moral ideals built-in. For our company to thrive and add to the small dedicated choir of deep green businesses we need people need to understand that idea.
Most companies start with a product or a service, and then think about an ethos to attach to the company. Our company started out with a set of values that we feel the world could use more of, and then figured out a way to engender those values in others.
In the same way that Elon Musk seduces people into making moral choices about how to power their homes and what type of car to drive, we hope to do the same with beer.
As much as we’re selling beer, we’re selling the opportunity to good. If you support clean energy, waste neutrality, water efficiency, a company that will open its doors the community, and provide its workers with paid time off, sick days, and an opportunity for employee stock ownership, great, just buy yourself a Suspended brew. It’s already built-in.
Even if a person doesn’t care about the positive externalities of our company it won’t matter. We aim to offer beer and coffee that even people who don’t care about anything other than getting the best beer or cup of coffee would buy for themselves anyway, thus supporting good deeds.
The writings in this post are a tall order. We will, of course, continuously examine our company to improve our practices, products, and operations. Admittedly we’re currently guilty of the same things we despise, but we promise to put our best foot forward and strive to offer uncompromised, responsible brew. We’ll be posting a series of blog posts detailing our approach to sustainability and how we’re practicing what we preach.